It is a sure sign of spring. Elk calves are hitting the ground all around elk country.
Yellowstone National Park recently issued a news release about the importance of giving cow elk and their young plenty of space, but that holds true for hikers, anglers, mountain bikers or anyone else who comes across elk anywhere in the wild.
Calves are typically born in late May through early June and weigh about 35 pounds. They come into the world spotted and scentless as camouflage from predators. As newborns, they lay motionless on the ground while their mothers feed. Once strong enough, they will join the herd where there is strength in numbers.
Cow elk are often much more aggressive toward people during calving season.
(Photo sources: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)